COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in Australia in 2022, according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Nearly 10,000 people died from COVID-19 last year.
It’s the first time in over 50 years that an infectious disease has ranked in Australia’s top five leading causes of death.
The annual report provides details about deaths in Australia across a range of demographics, like age and gender. It also separates data between First Nations and non-First Nations Australians.
There were 190,939 registered deaths in 2022 – almost 20,000 more than in 2021.
The ABS described COVID-19 as a “significant contributor” to the increase in total deaths.
Leading causes of death in Australia in 2022:
- Heart disease – 18,643
- Dementia – 17,106
- COVID-19 – 9,859
- Cerebrovascular disease (e.g. stroke) – 9,829
- Trachea, bronchus and lung illnesses – 9,048
Preliminary data found there were 3,249 deaths by suicide in Australia in 2022, a slight increase from 2021.
Men represented 75% of those deaths, with the median age being 45.6 years.
Suicide remained the 15th most common cause of death in Australia.
First Nations Deaths
The suicide rate among First Nations people was more than double that of non-Indigenous Australians.
It was the second-leading cause of death among First Nations men in 2022.
Heart diseases, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases were among the most common causes of death in First Nations communities last year.
Age and gender
Australians 80 years and older made up 56% of all deaths in 2022.
Dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease) was the leading cause of death for women and the second leading cause for males. Dementia deaths have increased 56% over the past decade.
Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death in men, and overall, representing one in 10 deaths in Australia.
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